Saturday, December 18, 2004

An Ideal Evening in Bangalore

Vidyarthi Bhavan
Originally uploaded by Time Machine.

Greetings friends, Yesterday evening I had been to Vidyarthi Bavan, the same old vintage kind of hotel where the main attraction is Masala Dosa. Though I prefer my blog to have technical stuff with lots of fuzzy logic, I could'nt resist including a bloglet which directly reflects my passion towards Masala Dosa. And most important thing of all, where else can you see people eating Dosa with one hand and punching codes on there laptops with the other.

I'ld like to begin with stating that, I'll try not to exagarate even a single line in this bloglet. The Hotel dates back to 1960's and can easily accommodate 50 people but at any given point of time you can witness X+1 number of people where X is always greater than 100. They will have occupied every free space available in the hotel blocking every possible exits. But as a matter of fact the hotel has only one exit i.e the main entarance and there are no windows. Though Bangalore is relatively cooler compared to other places of India, this hotel can easily pass out as a land of eternal summer.

Lucky for me & Vishwas that yesterday we were easily able to find a place inside hotel where we could rest half of our ass shared by few other customers eagerly waiting for there share of Dosa to arrive. This again goes without saying that the slightest mistake you make by leaving your seat unattended for even a fraction of second could result in you losing that seat and you cannot even calculate the time taken for the transition .Well I reckon you can even calculate time taken for electrons to jump from one orbit to other. However the hotel chef is very genourous and will allow the customers or rather allow an entire set of crowd to stand inside the kitchen to munch away dosa watching dosas being prepared.

At last a waiter turned up to take orders from us.

Waiter:- "Sir, What would you like to have? Any way I'll bring two Dosas"
Me:- "Mmmmmm let me check. Wat else do u think we are here for? We will have Dosa and what else do you have"
Waiter:- "We also have other dishes such as idlies, But we dont prepare them as the demand for those is one in million. Any way i'll bring Dosas".
Me:- "Wait, I'ld prefer to have some thing else along with Dosa. Wat else do you have?"
Waiter:- "Another Dosa"
Me:- "So you arbitrarily decided to give me another Dosa"
Waiter: "Well, that's all we have." (All this was said without rancor. I felt like I was in an Ayn rand novel. Neither one of us laughed, and he was utterlly remorseless.)
Another customer(angrily):- "WAITER, will you take my orders first"
Me:- Okay, I'll hav an extra Dosa.
Vishwas:- "Common, I do not have extra cash to sponser your extra Dosa"
Me:- "Hmmm, No extra Dosas for us. We will go with single Dosa each"
Waiter: Nothing said, he looked at us as if two aliens had jumped from Mars and had contacted him asking for his girlfriends Phone No.
Vishwas: "Okay, okay one by two coffee along with dosa" ( and the waiter left)

After quite some time the server came carrying dosas on plates such a way that the plates were towering one above other, till the ceiling just below the fans. You could clearly see his sweat beads dripping down on plates merging themself with the dosas. Again lucky for us that we were given the top most plates. Any way it did not not make any difference since our body had produced enough salivary and digestive jucies suficient to digest raw meat in seconds.Now, from an operations efficiency perspective, your taste sensory system would be running over capacity. Finance pros might recognize this as a classic example of asset utilization levels running dangerously high in the oral sensory system. Then came a person carrying chutney in bucket & pouring them over dosa adding an amazing visual spectra on the entire procedure.

We Indians have been the pall-bearers of the tradition of eating with our own hands. We cant let so rich a tradition die so easy a death. Eating dosa with your hands is an act of divine ecstasy. Your first touch of the ghee spread over the Masala Dosa…. The cosmic dance of your fingers while dipping the dosa in Chutney….. The first feel of the electric masala on your tongue, as you place one chutney-dipped finger over it … The act is not over just there, not yet. The grand finale to this unique spectacle is the finger licking ceremony. Indeed, no dosa eating experience can be complete without the connoisseur licking every single particle off his fingers (and sometimes, his palm). Ah, such simple yet fascinating pleasures that life has to offer ..

Finally it would be a mistake to wash our hands. Even the hotel authorities intend its customers to enjoy the pleasure of aroma of dosa to remain till next day. Hence forth they provide you with two peices of old news paper for you to rub the oil from your hand. As a result the only free place you could find inside the hotel is near its wash basin. And also the sink can be considered as the most under utilized sink in the entire country...... I think this is it for today... Catch you later


Vishwas said...

Great job man. Atleast now the VB is famous!! Everything comes in fron of me while i am reading this.

Sujatha said...

Good post chandan. Very detailed. Mouth-watering.

Kishan said...

Good One Chandan!
Well written! The last time when I went there with my friends, our High Class teacher was sitting there and eating happily :-)

My other favourite eat outs....
"Dwarka" in Bull Temple Road

"Brahmins Cafe" in Ranga Rao Road

"Food Street" VV Puram,(heard that Its no longer there :-( )

BangalorE Rocks!!! whatssay?

Praveen said...

Hmmm... soooperb, a techno-'savvy' description of an awesome place!! Brought back all the memories.. the aroma is still wafting near my nostrils.. aaaaah!! what a pleasure! Indeed there are hardly any cultures that celebrate eating as much as we do!!